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The Norway Spiral

Emily Lakdawalla • December 10, 2009

I had a fun conversation with Paul Harris just now on his show at KTRS about the crazy spiral that showed up in Norwegian skies yesterday.

Spectacular animation of Halley's comet

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2009

It's a holiday and I'm enjoying time with the family, so rather than write a lot, I will let a spectacular image do the talking for me.

Saturn's aurora, even better than before

Emily Lakdawalla • November 24, 2009

The Cassini imaging team have posted their own processed and captioned version of the Saturn's aurora movie that I posted a preview of about six weeks ago, and it was worth the wait.

Encouraging motion on Spirit

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2009

It really looks like the second attempt at driving Spirit out of the trap has had the hoped-for result: some forward progress (maybe about a centimeter), and no evidence for further downward sinking.

Opportunity's poking at Marquette Island; Cassini's catching dancing moons

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2009

Since tomorrow's class is going to be on playing with raw images from the rovers and Cassini, I've been playing with recent raw images from the rovers and Cassini! I just thought I'd share a couple of the fun items I've been working with.

Results of the first "Free Spirit" extrication drive, sol 2088: not much, as expected

Emily Lakdawalla • November 17, 2009

Even though all of us rover fans know that Spirit is really, really stuck, I think I'm not the only one who was secretly hoping that today's images downlinked from Spirit would show that the rover had magically popped out of the ground overnight. Of course, she didn't.

Rosetta Earth swingby successful

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2009

Rosetta appears to have operated flawlessly as it streaked past Earth for its flyby early this morning. Here are a few more gems from the flyby.

Planetary Radio Q and A: Saturn's Hexagon

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2009

On "Questions and Answers" I answered this question: "How do they explain the hexagon near Saturn's north pole?"

HiRISE sees Phoenix in the Martian spring

Emily Lakdawalla • October 28, 2009

These Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images of the defunct Phoenix lander in the early dawn light of northern spring have been out for some time, but no one had accomplished the difficult task of locating the Phoenix hardware in them until this week.

Spinning spokes in Saturn's rings

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2009

Here's a neat animation captured last month by Cassini and assembled by Mike Malaska: spokes in Saturn's B ring.

Fun for Sunday: Titan and Tethys pas de deux

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2009

Checking in on Cassini's raw images this weekend, there are several nice shots to play with, including the many frames from which I tossed together this cute animation.

OMG! Aurora!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2009

Unmannedspaceflight.com member Astro0 was fiddling around with an interesting-looking sequence of Cassini images when he discovered their purpose -- they were gathered in order to see if Cassini could catch aurorae flaring into being near Saturn's north pole. Cassini sure did!

Video from Palomar Observatory on LCROSS impact night

Emily Lakdawalla • October 10, 2009

The Palomar Observatory adaptive optics image of the crater Cabeus remains the best I've seen from ground-based telescopes of the LCROSS impact site.

LCROSS impact recap, with animations

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

Quite a night! I set my alarm for 3:15 am in order to get up and watch LCROSS crash into the Moon.

A couple of helpful visualizations of LCROSS impact

Emily Lakdawalla • October 08, 2009

The visualization studio at Goddard Space Flight Center has just posted some handy simulations of what we can expect the LCROSS impact to look like.

Beautiful 3D animation of Spirit's environs in Gusev Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • September 23, 2009

Doug Ellison has done it again: he's created a spectacular overflight of Gusev crater based upon digital elevation models of the terrain produced by the United States Geological Survey from HiRISE data.

Opportunity's highway, and a tour of Block Island

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2009

Just a cool image to start the morning: after a 70-meter drive yesterday, Opportunity's following not one but two sets of its own tracks.

A sunset into the dust

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2009

While Spirit has been stuck at Troy, it's been taking numerous opportunities to capture photos with dramatic twilight lighting. On sol 2,002 (three sols ago, or August 21), it gazed toward the setting Sun, snapping the shutter roughly once a minute.

Triple asteroid 1994 CC rotation animation

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2009

From the "just plain cool" department. I love animations of planetary images and I love radar images of asteroids -- so this animation is doubly cool.

Opportunity and Spirit updates: Both are now driving

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2008

Another day, another drive: on sols 1,693 and 1,695 the Opportunity rover conducted two more lengthy drives to the south, totaling almost 200 meters. On the other side of the planet, Spirit is FINALLY in motion again.

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